Why do I relate so much to an elderly mother who lived in a time and culture entirely removed from my own? I barely know any details about her, but after hours spent meditating on a single event from her life, there are so many ways St. Elizabeth inspires me. 


First, because she was "advanced in years," Elizabeth was unfit for the task of carrying a baby. Her body was weak. Not only was it impossible for her to conceive without supernatural help, but she required human assistance (from Mary) to carry the pregnancy to term. I may not be literally carrying a child, but there are 52 children under my care every day in the classroom, and I am unfit to teach them. My weaknesses make it impossible for me to give them what they need. The visitation gives me peace by reminding me that God calls and works through the weak, no matter how unfit for the task.
"When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the infant leapt in her womb, and Elizabeth [was] filled with the Holy Spirit..." 
Second, my greatest desire for my students is that they recognize Christ as their Lord and follow him. Sometimes I despair of their ever coming to know Christ in their tragic circumstances and disordered family lives. But if the infant John could recognize God even in the darkness of the womb, I can have confidence that the Holy Spirit reveals his presence to the simplest of minds in the darkest of places. 

Third, the joy of the visitation is all the more clear when we realize how long Elizabeth desired and waited for a son. At my stage in life, many hopes and longings are deferred. Meditating on this mystery broadens my view so that, rather than regretting the wait, I can trust God's plan to fulfill every desire in ways beyond my imagination, just as he did St. Elizabeth's. And may my daily prayer echo hers:
"Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?"

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